Photo Images 1


Since the privatisation of Australian National Railways (ANR or AN) in November 1997, the new owners of the remains of the system (Australia Southern Railroad) have rationalised their motive power, and made available a number of earlier units for purchase by other private rail operators in Australia. This section illustrates the formation of what might be described as several local "cottage" industries, one being in the refurbishment of early Clyde-EMD A7 class GM locomotives, similar to the Victorian S-class, but without dynamic braking.

Three middle series GM12's (Clyde-GM A7's) at Adelaide's Islington Locomotive works in September1998, with work started on cleaning the exteriors of the two end units.

The one nearest the camera, GM 27, will actually be the second to be reconditioned, and in January 1999 was still externally in the same visible state, although its electrics were well advanced in their rewiring, and its mechanics were also being overhauled. GM22 (at the other end) is having its EMD567C 16-cylinder engine overhauled with new liners, pistons and bearings. This programme has created ongoing work for local tradesmen with skills in the diesel electric locomotive technician and the painter trades.

A number of these previously retired locomotives have been sold to Victorian entepreneur and short-line private railway operator Great Northern Rail Services. The previous photo was taken in September 1998.

GNRS no 22, the class leader of the second series of A7s bought by the then Commonwealth Railways, and therefore the class leader of the third classified by C.R. as the GM class, is almost ready for service after rebuild; this unit was photographed at Islington in December 1998.

GM22 was named after the famous Australian cyclist Hubert Opperman, who was the minister of transport in the Australian Federal parliament at the time of the delivery. While all of the Victorian S-class GM locomotives were named after prominent Victorians, the Commonwealth only named the first in each class delivered, which surprisingly did not include the first AL.

GNRS no 22 waiting quietly in the late afternoon at Islington for its first commercial excursion later in December 1998. A good image of the potential or 'latent' power of a bulldog-nose GM locomotive.

The observant will notice that the handrails on the nose are missing; they had been fitted for a photgraphic shoot earlier that day, and were subsequently removed for small adjustments. The Great Northern livery of Hermitage and Royal reds, lined with Chrome Yellow, looks very attractive, particularly with handrails picked out in white.

Thirteen units of this six-motor Clyde-EMD-A7 class have been earmarked by Great Northern, and can run in multiple with most other locomotives around Australia, or even overseas. A four-motor early series GM (Clyde model ML1, serial number 10) has been purchased by Great Northern for shunting duties in Victoria, and is in the refurbishment programme currently.

At about 1500 on Saturday 12th December 1998, repainted CLP14 is seen backing towards the A-end of GNRS no 22 in preparation for its trip to Port Adelaide to head a Patricks train to Melbourne at 1630 that afternoon.

CLP14 was still undergoing acceptance trials by ASR after a major overhaul by consortium partner Clyde at Port Augusta, as can be seen by the absence of the ASR logos on the side and nose. The colour scheme is an Australian adaption of the classic Genessee and Wyoming locomotive livery, and apart from a few box cars, only locomotives that have been rebuilt and reconditioned by consortium partner Clyde at the Port Augusta workshops carry the new owners' house colours. To date, CLP12, CLP13, CLP14, ALF18 and DA7 have all been restored to reliable running in this way.

An historic shot fouled up by the camera strap obscurring the lens, only discovered after the film was processed. This would have been noticed, of course, with an SLR camera! Perhaps the photo should be subtitled "oops"!

GNRS no 22 is now coupled, jumpered, and ready for its first revenue run, at Dry Creek Motive Power depot on Saturday afternoon 12th December 1998. Interestingly, the late series GM immediately behind it has very recently had the Australia Southern logo decals affixed.

Ownership of ex-AN engines operated by ASR were previously incognito, having the AN "snailrail" logos removed when the railway was first purchased.

CLP14, GN 22, ASR (AN green) GM42 and 701 ready to head Patrick's Melbourne container train. Note that 701 also has had ASR logos affixed.

GM42 (marshalled next to 22) was one of the last series of GMs supplied by Clyde Engineering to the then Commonwealth Railways, ordered with the Leigh Creek to Port Augusta coal haulage in mind. They were classified model A16C, and were fitted with dynamic braking.

701 was the second of an order of six double cab Alcos supplied to the South Australian Railways as part of their purchase associated with the standard gauge project in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Class leader 700 was subsequently renumbered under AN ownership as their vehicle tracking software at that time was unable to cope with a vehicle number being "zero".

This is an interesting light engine movement of some twenty thousand horsepower, leaving Dry Creek Motive Power Depot's ready road for Port Adelaide. The front three Victorian G-class engines were for another hook-and-pull train to Melbourne.

This last shot was taken with a "throw-away" panoramic camera (the type that has a plastic lens) and the quality and depth of field is quite surprisingly good, particularly when using edge enhancing software. This print is not retouched.

A privately owned car remanufactured by private operator Bluebird Engineering at their Islington workshops. This was created from an "Overland" sleeping car. Photo taken in December 1998.

Bluebird engineering is the engineering wing of Bluebird Rail Systems, a private tour train operator who introduced and operates the well patronised three-car refurbished Bluebird trains between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley several days each week.

To the left of the private car can be seen an operational Bluebird set.

Bluebird have tendered for, and obtained, an ongoing source of work for several private railway operators around Australia.

Here we see two ex-NSW railways class 442 locomotives, converted to DOO (Driver Only Operation) and then repainted by Bluebird Engineering for their new owners, Silverton Transport Industries, photographed outside the southern entrance to the Islington paintshop in September 1998.

The Victorian railway privatisation is also creating work for Bluebird, and therefore jobs, at Islington. While not nearly as much as in its heyday, there appears to be sufficient continuity of work for the company, with a workforce that has expanded considerably.

A Bluebird railcar is seen here undergoing complete refurbishment in November 1998. This vehicle will end up in Victoria on lease to the operator of the privatised passenger service from Melbourne to Gippsland.

The same vehicle a month later, peeping out through the door, in its new Victorian livery.

Bluebird Engineering are also modifying and painting various freight vans and flat tops for several private freight forward companies, some of which rely upon Australia Southern Railroad for their line haul and hook-and-pull requirements. The need has arisen through the non-availability of any ex-AN wagons through theiur having been nominated by National Rail on AN's collapse. Reconditioning to new standards is therefore an ongoing need for private freight forwarders, who then negotiate "hook and pull" contracts with the freight operator (ASR) who bought the remains of AN's freight business.


a (then) Western Australian Government Railways publicity photograph of the Indian Pacific specially posed in the Avon Valley in the late 1970s, standing on dual gauge track between the Swan River wineries and Windmill Hill.

The Avon Valley line is dual gauge dual track, each road signalled for bidirectional working. Both photographs are ©Westrail, around 1980.

Some previously unpublished photos of the arrival of the inaugural "Indian Pacific" at Perth in 1970 will be placed on this site shortly.

A similar image of the "Trans-Australian".

This author never actually saw any Western Australian Standard Gauge passenger trains carrying a headboard - except for the inaugural "Indian Pacific" - although this was standard practice on their Narrow-Gauge passenger trains of that era.

The inaugural "Indian Pacific" arrived in Perth in 1970 with a magnificent headboard, though, and all "Indians" had an illuminated tailboard in the form of a light box which was permanently attached to the outside end of the HM mail vans and the HGM generator (power) vans - both ends of the consist.

The "Indian Pacific" nearly thirty years later and now privatised, hauled by a National Rail 4000HP GE locomotive, crossing the Torrens Junction diamond heading towards the Adelaide Gaol Loop.

The worsening "hole" in the track just south of the crossing is very noticeable from the leaning of the carriages at that point.

Photographed in December 1998.

The "Indian Pacific" approaching Keswick Passenger Terminal around the bend at the crossing north of the station. To the left of the locomotive is Train Control, and the headquarters of the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

This photograph shows the almost country look of the tree surrounded three road passenger terminal connected to the single track main line by a single approach road at both ends.

To the right, behind the trees to the rear of the locomotive, is the carriage servicing facilities operated by Goninan, a partner in GSR operations.

One of two NRC locomotives painted in Aboriginal motifs, stranding at Keswick waiting for the arrival of the westbound Indian Pacific from Sydney.

Because the train reverses in the station on its way out to Perth, a newly fuelled engine facing the right way couples to what was previously the rear of the train for the rest of the journey, releasing the engine which brought the train in to go for service and provisioning.


A QANTAS flight service truck at Keswick passenger terminal in August 1998.

QANTAS (the Australian overseas and domestic airline) is contracted to Great Southern Railway to supply partly prepared food for service in the cafeteria car on the Indian Pacific and Ghan trains.

They also prepare the first meal served on board, ready to be cooked by the on-train galley crew.

QANTAS flight service trolleys stand on the platform just after the arrival of the Indian Pacific from Sydney, en route to Perth, on a hot Tuesday afternoon in November 1998.

The train crews on the "Indian Pacific" change at Adelaide on its arrival. Photo September 1998.

In the next frame, we have an opportunity for an unique photograph that is unlikely to ever be repeated - at least one hopes that it won't:

Normally Adelaide water is used as little as possible on the cross-country trains because of its extremely high level of chemicals which necessary for quality control reasons.

Here we see the unusual sight of Sydney water being pumped out of the Indian Pacific's belly tanks, to be replaced with Adelaide water for the rest of the journey to Perth!

This was due to Sydney's water supply pollution problems in September 1998.

A view of refuelling of the "Indian Pacific" at Keswick in September 1998. Road tankers are able to service both the HGM generator van (containing three 415-volt 3-phase diesel alternator sets) and the locomotive.

The reason for this exercise is that to "provision" a locomotive at the Motive Power Depot at Dry Creek since the closure and removal of the Mile End locomotive serviceing facilities would require a twenty mile round trip for this purpose, with the cab at the wrong end of the locomotive in both directions, plus the problems associated with obtaining a path on the single track main line. Since privatisation, this would also incur an additional financial cost.

On the day the photo was taken, Great Southern Railway had increased the number of passenger carrying cars on the train from twelve to eighteen, the extra six being added at Adelaide. This required a seperate power van at each end of the train to service the load requirements.

On another occasion, also with the Indian Pacific, with its generator van at the southern end of the train. The engine has cut off and gone for serviceing.

The refuelling hose here has actually been dragged across the southern end of the passenger platform, then through the generator van's doors and down to the trackside.

From 1st November 1997, the legend above the windows on "Indian Pacific" and "Ghan" passenger carriages was changed, masking "Railways of Australia" (the engineering and marketing organisation formed in the 1970s), to reflect the new private ownership of the trains and the facilities.

The entire Keswick complex up to the entrance switches at Mile End Junction in the north, and Keswick Junction in the south, is controlled by Great Southern Railway.

The Overland rolling-stock was previously jointly owned with Victoria; the original legend identified the cars as being "V & SAR", which was altered in about 1978 to "V & ANR" but subsequent changes to the corporate names of AN and V/Line did not reach the carriage sides.

Newly refurbished "Overland" stock, delivered to Adelaide from Port Augusta workshops in February 1999, has a different livery, to be shown on this site shortly. Five units have so far been overhauled. These carriages will eventually make up a complete consist, which will free up other less serviceable units for refurbishing.

Clyde built local EMD variant AN1 in National Rail Corporation livery, photographed outside Dry Creek Motive Power Depot during September 1998.

This was the last class of locomotive built to the order of Australian National, and the entire class was nominated by National Rail Corporation for transfer to them from Australian National ownership, along withn all of the DL class effective 1st November 1997, succesfully preventing the privatised owners from initially being able to operate reliable locomotives. This is a story in itself.

Here we have some more nostalgia...

First of all, a slide from the sixties which I purchased from Commonwealth Railways in 1971, showing the class leader of the ML1 class of locomotive, GM1, in its original livery.

This engine was repainted with "Australian National Railways" in silver on its sides in 1977 and a slide made available as a souvenir.

Then resplendant in corporate green and gold in the early 1980s, a further "official" photograph was available.

It is now it is back in its original maroon and silver as shown here, The photographed is mine, taken in September 1998.

It would appear from comparing GM1 as it is now painted, with memory and colour photos from yester year that in the repaint the maroon colour is slightly too dark.

Australian National does still exist, in a small office somewhere, and completely inaccessible to the public, so I have published this slide in good faith without being able to obtain copyright permission.

Now for more nostalgia...

One of the three Budd Company imports of the 1950s, a CB unit which had been run on the ill-fated "Iron Triangle" passenger train, rests in the late 1980s in the sidings at Keswick with no work to do.

Bluebird Engineering are currently restoring CB2 for Standard Gauge operation, and have an unknown canibalised unit as spares. The third has long since gone to the graveyard.

During the 1980s, Victoria had some of its "B" class double-ended streamlined EMD locomotives refurbished with 12-cylinder turbocharged recent power plant developing more horespower than the aging naturally aspirated 567s. These were renamed as their "A" class.

Work is in progress on the conversion of the first B-class to an A-class by Clyde Engineering at Adelaide's Rosewater on an unrecorded date in the 1980s. Even before AN took delivery of the last of the BL class of locomotives in about 1984, Clyde's Rosewater facility was put to work converting the famous Victorian locos to take the 12-cylinder 645F engine with modern control equipment.

A Victorian S-class (Clyde-GM model A7) coupled to a C-class (GT26C) rests after a freight run, being provisioned at the old Mile End loco in about 1984. The S-class were also used on the "Overland" at one time, back-to-back with either a 930 or a Victorian X - all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide once through running had been introduced, both units always being turned at both ends of the journey so that the particular S-class locomotives used did not ever lead, for crew preference (union requirement) reasons. Several photographs of this pair of locomotives were taken at the time.

A noticeable difference between the S class, and the ex-Commonwealth GM12 class, is the absence in the latter of the air intake along the whole of the upper carbody as can be seen here. The reason is that the GM was fully pressurised internally to combat the dust encountered en route from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie.

In September 1998 four recently arrived DLs which were no longer required by NRC were seen having been shunted into Islington yard for storage.

Three of them are in this siding, and all these units had been run by NRC until major examinations were required.

Islington is owned by ASR, who have been unable to make use of these more recent locomotives despite the unreliability of the motive power they inherited when they purchased what was left of AN. In January 1999 they and all of the NRC owned ex-VR/V-Line C Class EMD GT26Cs were still there.


I don't know where this came from, but it tells the story of the gauge problem in Australia in an amusing way!

It possibly appeared years ago in an issue of the joint ARHS/PDRM magazine "Catchpoint", or perhaps it was in an earlier ARHS publication entitled "The Recorder".


Here is a map showing the environs of the Keswick Rail Passenger Terminal, to the western side of the city of Adelaide, South Australia's capital.

This was originally called the Adelaide Rail Passenger terminal when it first opened in 1984. The terminal was constructed in an attempt to decentralise on to land owned by ANR as opposed to remaining in the Adelaide station which was state owned; there was therefore quite probably a political agenda for that reason.

The image is scanned from a portion of a map obtained at an "Ampol" petrol station.

Updated on 29th April 1999 using the Australian html editor Flex-Ed